The Skinny on 'Healthy Lifestyle Rebates'

A new program means Floridians correcting unhealthy habits could get cash back from their health-insurance providers. But what is really at stake?

Insurance companies are offering incentives to employers who encourage smokers or overweight employees to alter their lifestyles.

America's first "Healthy Lifestyle Rebate" (search) plan forces most private insurers and HMOs (search) to pay from $20 to $200 if employees quit smoking or lose weight.

One doctor has been handing out such rebates to patients for nearly 20 years. He says it's just what the doctor ordered.

"It's the right thing to do, and I see patients significantly change their lifestyles and lose much weight and change their bad habits," said cardiologist Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah.

But some industry experts say employees are giving up more than sweets and smokes when they submit to this program — they are also giving up their privacy.

Health-exam results must be verified by doctors and possibly revealed to employers.

"It's going to be a slippery slope in relation to measuring these things and asking people to submit to tests that they might not want other people to know about," Bob Wychulis, president of the Florida Association of Health Plans (search).

Click on the video box above to see a video report by FOX News' Orlando Salinas.